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How to speed up Windows 10 using ReadyBoost

Looking for an inexpensive way to give your Windows 10 computer a boost in performance? Do you have a USB flash drive and a spare USB port on your computer? Then ReadyBoost in Windows 10 might be a perfect solution.

How to speed up Windows 10 using ReadyBoost

If you have never heard of ReadyBoost, it is a program that caches files that are frequently used by Windows 10. It stores the cached files on USB flash drive(s) or SD memory card.

ReadyBoost utilizes a service called SuperFetch. SuperFetch uses an algorithm that determines which files should be stored in the cache. The cache can include system files, application files and user documents.

Now when those files are needed, instead of reading the files from the disk drive, they get read from the ReadyBoost cache instead. If a file gets changed on the disk drive, it also gets changed in the cache and visa versa.

Now it is recommended that you use only USB flash drives for ReadyBoost for desktop computers. It can be connected to either a USB 2 or USB 3 port, but a USB 3 port is recommended. But you can use an SD memory card for a laptop computer, as long as it has a fast-enough transfer rate.

And you can use more than one (1) USB flash drive for ReadyBoost. In fact, the recommended ratio between the ReadyBoost cache and system memory is 1:1 to 2.5:1.

So, if your computer has 8GB of memory, you could create a ReadyBoost cache that is between 8GB and 20GB. But you could just use a 32GB flash drive and allocate all of it to ReadyBoost.

The one thing you need to know is ReadyBoost is mainly meant to be used with systems that only have Hard Disk Drives (HDD), since they are known to have slower read access times than Solid State Drives (SSD).

ReadyBoost requirements for Windows 10

  • Minimum free space per flash drive / memory card: 1 GB
  • Maximum free spade per flash drive / memory card: 32 GB
  • Minimum transfer rate: 3.5 Mbit/s.
  • The flash drive / memory card format: NTFS

Now to make sure that your computer is ready to use ReadyBoost, you will need to make sure the SuperFetch service is running. To check the status of the SuperFetch service just follow these steps:

  1. Open a Run dialog box by pressing the Windows Logo key Windows logo key + R.
  2. In the Open field type services.msc and then click on OK.
  3. Scroll down the list of services until you find SuperFetch.
    The status of the SuperFetch inside of Services console
  4. Make sure it is running and set to start Automatically.

You are now ready to set up a USB flash drive or SD memory card for use with ReadyBoost. Just insert the drive into a spare USB port or SD card slot and follow the instructions below.

How to turn ReadyBoost on or off inside of Windows 10

  1. Insert the USB flash drive or SD memory card you want to use with ReadyBoost.
  2. Open File Explorer by using one of the following:
    • Left-click on the manila folder icon to the Taskbar.
    • or
    • Press the Windows Logo key Windows logo key + E at the same time.
  3. Navigate to the USB flash drive or SD memory card you want to use with ReadyBoost.
  4. Right-click on the drive you want to use for ReadyBoost..
    The context menu for a USB flash drive with Properties highlighted
  5. From the context menu that appears, left-click on Properties.
  6. On the Properties dialog box, left-click on the ReadyBoost tab.
    The ReadyBoost tab inside of USB flash drive Properties dialog box
  7. Once the system has analyzed the drive, select the options you want to use.

Improve the performance of Windows 7 and Windows Vista with ReadyBoost

I am always looking at different ways to improve the performance of Windows. One of the ways is to use ReadyBoost that is built into Windows 7 and Windows Vista. ReadyBoost can speed up your computer by caching files that the system accesses frequently on USB flash drives and SD / CF memory cards.

Windows 7 and Windows Vista use an algorithm named Windows SuperFetch to determine which files should be stored in the cache. SuperFetch monitors files that users access (including system files, application files, and documents) and pre-loads those files into the ReadyBoost cache. Because the ReadyBoost cache stores a copy of the files, the flash drive can be removed at any point without affecting the computer, Windows will simply read the original files from the disk.

When to use ReadyBoost to improve performance

  • The computer has a slow hard disk drive. Computers with a primary hard disk Windows Experience Index (WEI) subscore lower than 4.0 will see the most significant improvements.
  • The flash storage provides fast, random, non-sequential reads. Sequential read speed is less important.
  • The flash storage is connected by a fast bus. Typically, USB memory card readers are not sufficiently fast. However, connecting flash memory to an internal memory card reader might provide sufficient performance.

Requirements for USB flash drives, SD / CF memory cards

  • Capacity of at least 256 MB, with at least 64 kilobytes (KB) of free space.
  • At least a 2.5 MB/sec throughput for 4-KB random reads
  • At least a 1.75 MB/sec throughput for 1-MB random writes

You must reserve at least 256 MB. Larger caches can improve performance, but the ReadyBoost cache in Windows 7 cannot be greater than 4 GB on a FAT32 file system or greater than 32 GB on an NTFS file system. Windows Vista has a 4 GB limit on both file systems. So, if your USB flash drive or SD / CF memory card is larger than 4 GB, it will need to formatted in NTFS to create a ReadyBoost cache larger than 4 GB.

How to turn ReadyBoost on or off

  1. Plug a USB flash drive or SD / CF memory card into your computer.

  2. Autoplay dialog box with Speed up my system selected
  3. In the Autoplay dialog box, under General options, click Speed up my system.

  4. Drive options for ReadyBoost
  5. In the Properties dialog box, click the ReadyBoost tab, and then do one of the following:
    • To turn ReadyBoost off, click Do not use this device.
    • To use the maximum available space on the flash drive or memory card for ReadyBoost, click Dedicate this device to ReadyBoost. Windows will leave any files already stored on the device, but it'll use the rest to boost your system speed.
  6. To use less than the maximum available space on the device for ReadyBoost, click Use this device, and then move the slider to choose the amount of available space on the device you want to use.
  7. Click OK.

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